This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
The facilities at Lowry were remodelled in the 70's, and new buildings were constructed. The remaining buildings are the original hangar facilities, two dormitory buildings, and a medical/office facility, all from the modern renovation, as well as old classroom buildings from the 40's era base.
Type: Complex Status: Demolished Accessibility: Difficult Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
United States Owner: Community College of Aurora, USAF
Various buildings, some empty, some chock full of equipment and furniture. Gigantic hangar (No. 2) used for storage. "Wings over the Rockies" Air Museum with military library, B-52 and one of the remaining B-1A bombers on display. Also, a golf course.
Before Lowry was built, the site contained Agnes Phipps Memorial Sanitarium, opened in 1903 and closed in 1932. Parts of this building stayed with the AFB and is still there to date. It has been turned into Apartment homes, also known as Building 251.
Lowry Air Force base was constructed in the 1930's in order to provide a facility for the Air Service Technical Training schools as they had outgrown existing facilities in Illinois. The first unpaved runway became operational in 1938, on April 4th. Hangar number One was completed August 1939, the runway competed in December.
During the 40's, Lowry had 44 officers, 1,350 enlisted men, 600 students, and 27 aircraft. During this period, the Air Force provided Lowry with the task of training 57,000 men anually, so another field was constructed, armament training moved to Buckley AFB, and the Flight Engineer school moved to Lowry. Shortly afterwards, pilot training was added to the large amounts of courses offered. After the end of World War II for the US, two classes remained at Lowry; they never completed training with the end of the war in Europe. By the end of 1945, Lowry was averaging 300 discharges per day.
With the arrival of the Cold and Korean wars, new equipment was moved to Lowry. Jet aircraft, guided missiles, nuclear ordinance, and computer equipment was moved to the base. With North Korea attacking across the 38th parallel, Lowry responded by offering courses in rocket propulsion, missile guidance systems, electronics, radar-operated fire-control systems, computer technology, gun and rocket sights, and electronic turret systems. Aerial Photography and Armament courses were also offered.
With Eisenhower signing a bill to allow an Air Force Academy, major training operations were slated to move to Colorado Springs. Classes remained at Lowry until 1955.
In the 60's, the based was closed to all major air traffic. All major flight operations were moved to nearby Buckley AFB. Titan I missiles were put into operation at the Lowry Bombing Range, and Intellegence training was heavy. In the 70's, the old wood buildings were replaced with cinder brick buildings, and new facilities moved in, including 5 dormitories housing 1,000 each. The Defense Finance and Accounting Center moved into one end of the base as well, and is used to the present day. Also faced in the 70's was the possibility of base closure.
In the early 1990's, with budget cuts, Lowry faced it's end. In 1994, the 3400th Technical Training wing was deactivated. September 30th, 1994, brought the official end to the base.
Today the base is almost completely converted to residential and commercial usage. Townhomes occupy the former roads and runways, and a large shopping center occupies another end of the base. The buildings formerly for training house schools and an ice rink.
Bush performs some speeches in front of the old hangar sometimes.
Being converted into school campuses, a retail center, and housing. Community College of Aurora owns multiple dormitory buildings, one used for police/tactical training.